As we wait to welcome our son home, we are in constant wonder of what to expect in the first few weeks he is in our lives. What will he like to eat? How long will it take for him to sleep at night time? Will he like one or both of us or will he hate us both? Which sibling will he attach to first? Will he scream all the way home from Korea? How quickly will he learn English? There are so many unknowns. What we do know is that this will not be easy… for him OR us.
I want each of you to picture this for a moment. Imagine your 19 month old child going to his pediatrician appointment. While there, he meets a very nice Korean couple. They speak a different language and he can’t understand a word they are saying. Then, after several minutes, he is told that they are now his parents and he is handed to these 2 strangers who talk, look, smell, and act differently from anyone he has ever known. He leaves with them and goes back to a hotel room for a couple of nights and then later boards a plane. On the journey to his new home, he encounters many more scary “firsts” with these two strangers. They rock him, feed him, and care for him, but he still longs for his first family. He longs for the woman who knew how to soothe him, feed him, make him laugh, and make him feel better. He longs for all things familiar. He longs for all that he once knew.
While this is so very sad, it is not much different from what is going to happen to our son. We will meet him and his foster family at our agency, talk, ask questions, and visit his pediatrician one last time. Then, he is ours. We will stay a couple nights in a hotel and then we will take him home to his forever family. He will most likely be terrified, confused, sad, and even filled with grief. These feelings will not go away over night. We are prepared for and expecting a potentially, long transition and attachment period.
We would love for our family and friends to welcome us home from the airport. Reid will be scared no matter how many people are there to get their first glimpse. He may be asleep or he may be screaming…. we have no idea. However, we know how many of you have prayed for us and are so anxious to meet our little guy. So, if you would like, please join us in welcoming our son home at the airport.
That being said, once we arrive home from the airport, what we ask for from you is understanding. We will most likely do things very differently than many would expect. We will be lying low for however long we deem necessary. This could be 4 weeks and this could be 6 months. We do not know. While we are very used to a lot of help from grandparents, Ryan and I will be Reid Jun-Su’s primary care givers for quite some time. It is vitally important for him to see us, solely, meeting his needs. This is how he learns we are his parents. This is how he forms an attachment to us. We will begin to venture out in to public when WE see that he is ready. This means we may not be at church, school, or other social events for quite some time. We do not plan on having many visitors, and the holiday season may look very different for our family this year. We do not know what he will be ready for.
So, we simply ask for understanding. We ask that you all allow us to do this how we think is best for our family. It may seem strange to you. It may seem like we’ve fallen off the face of the earth or that we’ve forgotten all about our friends and family. I promise that once he is showing signs of transition and strong attachment, we will gradually welcome our crazy, busy life back. But, until then, we’ll be loving on our boy and learning what it means to be Reid Jun-Su Matthias’ family.
*Many of you want to know how you can help. PRAY!!! Please pray fervently for our family in this time of transition. Pray for all of our children as each of their world’s are about to be rocked to the core. Pray for wisdom for Ryan and me as we parent each of our children through this change. Pray for understanding for our friends and family. Pray for energy and strength for us during the long days and nights. Pray for Reid’s foster family as they say goodbye. Most of all, pray that God will be glorified.